Tours at a stone’s throw from the sky, among the great frescoes of Piacenza.
1. THE WORK OF GUERCINO IN THE DOME OF THE CATHEDRAL OF PIACENZA
The gaze is totally fascinated by the large octagonal dome frescoed by Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, 1591 - 1666) and Morazzone (Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, 1573 - 1626) in the Cathedral of Piacenza.
Here the figures of the prophets are delineated, suspended in the clouds carrying cartouches and with the face turned upwards, towards the divinity. They are David, Isaiah, Haggai, Hosea, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Micah and Jeremiah, each enclosed in his own sail.
Initially the work was commissioned in 1625 to Morazzone, but the Lombard artist died after finishing the sails of David and Isaiah.
The following year the work was assigned to Guercino, who realized between 1626 and 1627 the other six sails and also frescoed the lunettes, where you can observe four episodes of the infancy of Jesus - the announcement to the shepherds, the adoration of the shepherds, the presentation to the temple and the flight to Egypt - and four representations of sibyls, in an ideal dialogue with the prophets for the similar task of predicting the future.
2. THE FRESCOED DOME OF THE CHURCH OF SAN FRANCESCO DI PIACENZA
In Piazza Cavalli di Piacenza stands the Church of San Francesco.
Built between 1278 and 1363 by the Ghibelline Umbertino Landi, it is in Lombard Gothic style with terracotta facade.
The facade has two buttresses, rose window, cusp and spires, as well as a mid-fifteenth-century portal, and on the sides powerful arches rampant.
On the right side is the cloister, of which there is only one porch.
The church preserves burials of illustrious men, paintings, sculptures and remains of frescoes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Note the sculpture placed in the lunette of the portal, with the Stigmate of San Francesco (about 1480).
The dome of the chapel of the Immaculate Conception, with its grandiose altarpiece, is frescoed by Giovanni Battista Trotti called "The Malosso" (1597), for whose commission the Franciscans elaborated an original and curious iconography. The artist here depicts the Assumption into Heaven of the Virgin.
3. THE COMPLEX PICTORIAL CYCLE OF THE BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA IN CAMPAGNA IN PIACENZA
The interiors of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Campagna, embellished by the complex pictorial cycle of the dome created by Antonio Sacchi called "Pordenone", are amazing.
He was responsible for the depiction of Saint Augustine on the entrance wall and the works of the chapel of the Magi entirely frescoed by the artist, as well as the subsequent chapel of Saint Catherine.
The beautiful dome, whose frescoes were made by Pordenone and Bernardino Gatti called Soiaro in a period between 1530 and 1543, stands in the middle of the Greek cross and dominates the entire structure.
The lantern depicts God supported by a glory of angels from which descend characters and stories of Christianity.
Just below, in fact, open the eight segments and as many ribs of the dome populated with prophets and sibyls, putti, Old Testament characters and various symbols.
Immediately after you can see the frieze, where there are the heroes and the gods of classical antiquity, then the apostles, as pillars of the structure and finally the drum that illustrates some scenes from the life of Mary.
4. THE DOME OF THE CHURCH OF SAN CRISTOFORO DI PIACENZA AFFESCATA DA BIBBIENA
A masterpiece of Baroque art, the Church of San Cristoforo in Piacenza amazes with its dome, frescoed by Ferdinando Galli Bibbiena (1657-1743).
The artist was able to transfer perspective, the patrimony of mathematical and philosophical speculation, in the field of the practice of quadrature, drawing in the dome fake columns that support it, thus giving a feeling of spaces wider than they really are, a characteristic of the local baroque.
Considered a marvel of quadraturism and illusionistic painting, the dome has an umbrella roof with upper lantern with pilasters and rectangular openings.
The decoration brings out an effect of grandeur and spectacular artifice very particular, giving a celebratory and theatrical vision of great effect.
Today the building also houses the Little Poetry Museum, the first in Europe.